Over the past couple weeks, the news has been rife with stories and debate about racist comments made by Donald Sterling and Cliven Bundy. Many assume that rich white Republicans like these two are the most racist segment of America, but recent research by FiveThirtyEight Politics found that this is not entirely true. Reporters took a look at responses to a variety of race-oriented questions in the General Social Survey, and found that racism cannot be so easily divided along political lines.
Taking eight different questions into account, the researchers found that in 2012, white Republicans admitted to negative racial attitudes 27% of the time, compared to 19% of white Democrats, a gap much smaller than some might think. In fact, 20 years ago, 23% of white Democrats said they wouldn’t even vote for a black president, when only 19% of white Republicans made the same statement. Many hoped that Obama’s presidency would make a positive change in these racial attitudes, but the reporters were disappointed to discover that racial attitudes don’t seem to have changed much since he was elected in 2008.
So are white Republicans or white Democrats more racist? The data has spoken and clearly the answer is: a tie.